New college graduates have many big decisions to make. Which job to take? Where to live? One decision that grads often overlook is the quality of their banking institution. New grads should evaluate whether their current bank meets all their post-graduate needs.
While still in college, banks often offer credits cards and no-fee checking account options to students. However, these great deals can disappear after graduation. New grads may want to consider moving to an online bank, if avoiding fees is a primary goal. Another important point to consider is the interest rate a bank offers on its savings account and credit cards. Now more than ever, new grads need to plan for the future by beginning a habit of saving money and reducing fees.
A big issue to consider is credit history. Banks offer student credit cards with the premise that students do not have much of a credit history. After college, this may change. For grads without credit card debt, good credit can be leveraged to get better credit rates. For graduates with lots of credit card debt, this new credit history could work against their bottom line. The take home point is that it is important to shop around to find a bank that meets all financial needs.
If changing banks does not alleviate credit woes, new graduates may want to consider bankruptcy. Most consumer debt, like credit cards, can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This leaves filers with a fresh financial start. Getting rid of crushing debt at the start of a career may help to put new graduates on the right financial path for the remainder of their working lives.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Why Graduates Should Reconsider Their Bank,” Richard Barrington, June 20, 2014